Sunday, August 30, 2009

C. longicauda 'Pantu'

Firstly before I write about my experience with C. longicauda 'Pantu', I must apologise for the bad quality photographs posted below. Yes, it is not you who are having blurry vision, it is the photographs that are blur.

Pantu in Sarawak was a special area where I always wanted to visit because the C. longicauda found there had reddish coloured leaves. In fact, the 1st wild cryptocoryne which I killed was exactly C. longicauda 'Pantu'!

However, time was not on our side. The sun was setting and we were still targeting to visit 3 locations to locate the cryptocorynes found there and 'Pantu' was the immediate next one we were heading to. To make things worse, it started to drizzle a little. The lighting level and drizzle sort of affected all my photographs' sharpness, which I did not realised until I reached home and reviewed them.

We found a peat swamp forest in Pantu. As it was getting dark and starting to drizzle, my explorer friend and me hurried into the forest towards separate ways to hunt for the red C. longicauda.

However, as the interior of the forest was a little dark already due to the time and the weather, we could not locate / distinguish the C. longicauda from the forest litter which was also reddish in colour. Instead, my friend found the C. longicauda in the ditch separating the road and the forest when he exit from the forest after sinking thigh deep into a soft part of the swampy forest bed (I did not hear his cry for help! :-p).
The forest bed was soft and muddy and the pH was around 4.5 or lesser, typical for peat swamp forest.

The C. longicauda specimens found in the ditch were quite gigantic in size and had quite big leaves as shown below.

Again, we found an unopened spathe to confirm the identification of the cryptocorynes as C. longicauda.

Similar to at Betong area, I found specimens of C. longicauda with elongated leaves, different from the usual ovate shape with cordate base. Could it be due to the natural environment with perhaps some water flow resulting in the leaves becoming elongated?

We hurried off quickly after C. longicauda 'Panyu' and sped towards the last 2 target locations in a race against time.

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